MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For the second time, NASA is going to use the International Space Station (ISS) to study lightning. The unique view from above gives scientists a way to detect lightning in its early stages.
A Lightning Image Sensor (LIS) will be mounted on the exterior of the Space Station facing towards earth. According to NASA, the LIS measures the frequency and characteristics of lightning strikes.
This will broaden the previous research from the first LIS, which was launched in 1997. The original LIS was attached to a satellite, so it really only gathered information at the tropics. The new LIS will gather information for lightning across the entire planet.
The increased knowledge of how and why lightning forms will aid meteorologists in severe weather forecasting and help determine lightning distribution within certain types of storms. This study will help scientists better understand the connection between lightning and severe storms.